Roy Ward talks to Hobart Lady Chargers’ Izzy Chilcott and covers this week’s big plays as well as the media wrap-up.
Izzy Chilcott knows all about the ups and downs in a basketball season.
At the start of this year, the 24-year old was looking to press her claims for a WNBL roster spot.
Chilcott spent a little time as a development player with Logan Thunder before their exit from the WNBL but now a little older and more worldly, Chilcott put word out she wanted to have another chance to play at the top level.
But just as that word started to spread, Chilcott tore a couple of ligaments in her ankle in the Lady Chargers’ season opener leaving her out for three games and absent from an already undermanned team.
Luckily Chilcott’s ankle ligaments recovered in quick time and while she has to continue to play through some discomfort, she has put together a strong season to date averaging 14.6 points and 5.6 rebounds in the diverse Chargers’ offence.
“It’s not the way you want to start a season but you just have to deal with injuries,” Chilcott said.
“It kind of lingers around and isn’t as good as it was before but you do what you have to do to get back on the court.”
Chilcott’s determination to get back paid off in a career-changing way when she was recommended to new Perth Lynx coach Andy Stewart by her Hobart coach Mark Nash.
“Playing WNBL was something I always wanted to do but I’ve been pretty laid back about it,” Chilcott said.
“I thought if someone was interested in me they would get in contact but I came to realise that’s not the way to go about it.
“So with Nashy’s help we put some feelers out to see if any teams were interested and Perth came back to us and were keen to get me on board.”
The Lynx signed Chilcott and Hobart teammate Klara Wischer in June and the pair will suit up for the reinvigorated Western Australian WNBL club this summer.
“I don’t know if I really ruled out ever playing WNBL or locked it in- I just thought if it was meant to be then it would come up,” Chilcott said.
“I never really put my eggs in one basket and now I’m excited to enjoy a bit of summer for once as I’ve been down in Hobart for a while now.
“I’m from the Gold Coast originally so these winters are killing me.”
The Lady Chargers have overcome their injury-riddled start to the season and become one of the championship contenders with a 13-3 record, good enough for top of the South conference.
Early season signing Amy Kame has given the side a second elite scorer along with fellow import Kathleen Scheer while Chilcott and Wischer work well to find baskets and make plays around the two stars.
Kame, Chilcott and Wischer all went to University of San Diego and while they only played one full season together, Chilcott had no hesitation in recommending Kame to Nash when the Lady Chargers needed a new star recruit.
“I can’t get rid of them,” Chilcott joked.
“But the good thing is we all know how each other plays and there is some comfort in that.”
The Lady Chargers entered this past round coming off an embarrassing 28-point loss to Launceston Tornadoes in Hobart so Chilcott said the team was determined to atone for that result and also take two vital road wins.
They did just that beating Frankston 87-74 on Friday night and then taking down Nunawading 73-62 on Saturday night.
“We knew it was a huge weekend and we have Launceston breathing down our necks,” Chilcott said.
“Having Amy back helped and we just grinded out two wins – it’s the story of our season because we are not the prettiest team to watch but we grind out our wins.”
With both Launceston and Hobart set for SEABL finals campaigns, Chilcott said it looked like they could well meet in the post season.
“We are both right up there and we do talk about it all the time,” Chilcott said.
“We will probably end up meeting them at some point and whether it’s at Hobart or Launceston it will be a big game.
“We are chomping at the bit until we meet them again but that is still a long way down the track.”
*Launceston star Mikaela Ruef went within two points of a 20-20 game with 18 points and 20 rebounds against Bendigo while teammate Ally Wilson pulled in 14 boards and Bendigo’s Stacia Robertson grabbed 15. All three performances came in the same game.
*Bendigo guard Kelly Wilson had a big night against the Tornadoes with 29 points on 10-20 shooting.
*Canberra duo Kristen Langhorn (26 points, ten rebounds) and Julie Forster (24 points, 15 rebounds, nine assists) led the way in their clubs win over Sandringham while Sabres forward Michelle Joy continued her good form with 21 points.
*Frankston forward Kelly Bowen had another monster game with 27 points, 15 rebounds and three steals against Hobart Chargers.
*Chargers forward Kathleen Scheer again stood tall with 24 points and ten rebounds in her club’s win over the Blues.
*Dandenong’s Clare Papavs found her scoring touch once again with a game-high 25 points in the Rangers’ win over Launceston.
*Hobart’s Izzy Chilcott scored 24 points as the Chargers beat Nunawading and made it two road wins for the weekend.
*Kilsyth guard Chantella Perera stung Brisbane with 27 points and 14 rebounds while teammate Cassandra Sant scored 20.
*Bendigo guard Kerryn Harrington recorded 20 points while centre Elyse Penaluna added 19 as the Lady Braves beat Geelong.
*Ballarat Rush took a much-needed win over Geelong and Abbey Wehrung led the way with 19 points and eight rebounds.
SEABL media links
*Border Mail’s Steve Smith (@stevesmithffx) profiled Albury-Wodonga guard Tenille Collins ahead of her 200th game. Story, picture: http://www.bordermail.com.au/story/3201888/tenille-collins-200th-match-a-milestone-few-ever-envisaged/?cs=10
*Smith also reported on the Lady Bandits’ clash with Brisbane. Report, pictures: http://www.bordermail.com.au/story/3204066/late-game-execution-hands-brisbane-victory/?cs=10
*Examiner’s Terry Morris reports on the Tornadoes’ clash with Dandenong. Report: http://www.examiner.com.au/story/3204678/rangers-ruin-thunder-interstate-double-dream/?cs=96
*Dandenong Journal’s Jarrod Potter (@JarrodPotter) reports on Dandenong Rangers’ WNBL tryouts last week. Report: http://dandenong.starcommunity.com.au/journal/2015-07-07/shooting-for-the-top/
*The Advocate’s Cameron Slessor profiled Tasmanian under-16 player Marli Oliver. Story: http://www.theadvocate.com.au/story/3201771/young-gun-oliver-leading-by-example/?cs=88
*The Courier’s Melanie Whelan (@Melanie_Whelan) reports on the Rush’s big win. Report: http://www.thecourier.com.au/story/3198550/energy-rush-in-thriller-at-home/?cs=63
*Bendigo Advertiser’s Nathan Dole reports on the Lady Braves’ weekend. Report, pictures: http://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/story/3207114/braves-spirits-soar/?cs=81
*Geelong Advertiser’s Wes Cusworth (@WesCusworth) reports on the Lady Supercats’ tough loss to Ballarat. Report: http://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/sport/local-sport/geelong-lady-supercats-beaten-by-ballarat-in-shock-three-point-loss/story-fnjuhs0b-1227434651811
*Canberra Times’ Jon Tuxworth (@Tuxy81) reports on Canberra’s weekend matches. Report: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/sport/act-sport/canberra-seabl-sides-register-wins-over-sandringham-20150711-gia2hp.html
*Basketball Australia reports on the Emerging Opals fifth-place finish at the World University Games in South Korea. Report: http://www.basketball.net.au/emerging-opals-claim-fifth-world-university-games/
*Follow the Australian under-19 women as they compete in the FIBA world championships starting late on Friday night. Information, live streams: http://www.fiba.com/world/u19women/2015
Roy Ward (@rpjward) is a freelance sports writer who has covered the NBA, NBL, WNBL, SEABL and Big V during his career. He will be filing weekly columns on the SEABL men’s and women’s competitions during this season. For feedback or suggestions send Roy a tweet or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org